13 Ways to Keep Kids Active Indoors

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes*

This is the motto we live by 99% of the time. Considering this recent weather, let’s come back to proper clothing for another post and dedicate this one to the other 1% (or more) of the time.

We can experience-40 celsius to -50 celsius here in Manitoba, and while we love to try to get out every day, even for 15 minutes in the deep cold and encourage you all to do so when dressed properly, there have been a couple indoor days. On those days, and even on the days when we have short excursions in the extreme cold, what do we do the rest of the time to keep our bodies moving? Below is a list of ten of our favourite in-home action-packed activities.

1. Kids yoga. We love the Sun Dance video on YouTube for a quick burst of activity, or the Yoga Kids DVD for a more typical yoga session. If you are experienced, you can lead the group yourself.

morning yoga

2. Dance parties. Turn on your favourite tunes, or hit YouTube for some fun videos to dance to. The kids love Dan Zanes, Lisa Loeb’s Jenny Jenkins, or the Loeb/Mitchell combos like Stop and Go –  and some of the other Noggin’s Move to the Music videos. Unfortunately, YouTube is now riddled with ads, so I’d caution to start the video ahead of time so you can skip the ad if you’re concerned about the content.

3. Obstacle course. Let the kids create their very own obstacle course in the house. Set whatever limits you want to in advance, so you don’t have to be the naysayer throughout the whole process.  Pillows, hoola hoops, blankets, toys, etc. can all be used for their course. If you have a 2×4 or something similar kicking around, it will make a fantastic ground-level balance beam. As the kids run the course, they can make adjustments. Who knows, they might just get out a paper and pen, and chart their results.

4. Brain Gym. We often start our day with a few quick Brain Gym activities such as touching opposite hands and feet behind the body. We like to go slow at first and then speed up to go as fast as we can before we end up on the floor in a fit of giggles. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube with awesome 80’s and 90’s music – just try to find one that includes midline crossing, such as touching your left toe with your right hand, and vice versa. This is supposed to improve focus, memory, and a bunch of other good stuff that you can read about on their website.

5. Animal antics. Choose one animal or bug each day to mimic. Or on those hell has frozen over days, do them all! Crawl, slither, wiggle, climb, jump, bounce…

6. Pillow fight. Enough said.

7. Scavenger hunt race. Hide some little toys around the house and put on a timer to see how fast the whole crew can find them all.

8. Bike. Yep, you read that correctly. If you are fortunate to have a large basement, toss on the helmets and go for a ride. Why not? Set up your own bike school to practice bike safety rules, or just let them take it where they will – this could open up a whole new world of creative games. We don’t have a large basement, but were fortunate enough to score a vintage Radio Flyer scooter when our first son was born. He rode the thing in circles around our main floor, and by the time he outgrew it, his younger brother was ready to take the helm.

radio flyer basket head

9. Simple sports. Find an area of your home that doesn’t have a lot of breakables and set up mini sticks, a laundry hamper and some soft balls for shooting hoops, play catch, etc. If it’s usually not allowed, kids will be thrilled to be encouraged to throw balls in the house!

10. Rock out. There is just something about being in a band that gets you moving. I cherish the videos of our crew of four on the days when they have each grabbed a ukelele, drum, shaker, or other instrument and worked together to make a band – often marching through the house, or staging elaborate rock or pop concerts in the living room, with lots of sweet moves.

rock band

11. Hobby horses. Oh yes. We went through a huge, huge horse phase over here. We watched almost every horse movie, with Secretariat topping the favourites list. Those hobby horses got a workout by our resident jockeys, usually in full costume with goggles and all!

12. Box races. 

box racing

13. An actual exercise video. My husband found a great app called the 7 Minute Workout Challenge – he does this with kids a few times a week. It’s quick and very simple for the kids to follow along with. You don’t need this app, though – just choose 5 to 10 activities and use a timer. Jumping jacks, marching on the spot, running on the spot, stair steps, twists, hopping on one foot, lunges, etc.




For more activity ideas check out our FREE resources, including a birdwatching checklist. Cozy up on the couch with tea, a bird book, binoculars, and a printed copy of the checklist!

Bake something delicious – Tiny Peasant Pantry is a wonderful resource for getting kids in the kitchen, and also includes time and sanity saving menu planning resources for busy parents.


Also visit our bookshop for loads of great stories to cuddle up with after all that physical activity! This is our Amazon affiliate shop. Thank you for your support!

reading about robots



*When I googled this quote, almost half a dozen different people were credited in various places. I used the credit from Goodreads.


This post was shared as a part of Montessori Monday.

Please note that we are a part of the Amazon associates program. If you visit Amazon.ca through Tiny Peasant and make a purchase, our family will receive a small percentage of the sale. The products that I specifically recommend in blog posts are products that we love in our home – if they aren’t they are on my wish list and I will note that. Our bookshop (coming soon) has a mixture of tried and true, and wish list items. If you ever have any questions about a product we link to, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thank you for your support! 

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